It's a little bit more of a setup, but you can do most of this with downloaded / ripped shows as well. There are some clients (such as Plex - http://www.plexapp.com/) which allow you to most of the same functionality. You can pause shows and resume them on a different machine, or with the option of restarting. It does not have the nice feature of moving from one TV show to the next like Netflix does, but it does separate into categories (TV Shows and Movies) and can be searched for by genres, etc. The biggest advantage Netflix has over any sort of home media is the amount of media it has which can easily surpass the amount stored at home in HD and secondly, the redundancy of the servers so that you have minimal amount of outages.